Apple lures away senior self-driving car engineer from Google’s Waymo

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Apple car
One of Alphabet-subsidiary Weymo's senior engineers now works on Apple autonomous cars like this one.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Jaime Waydo is leaving Google’s Waymo for Apple. This should help silence anyone who doubts that Apple is serious about its autonomous car efforts.

Waydo describes her old job at this Alphabet subsidiary as “Helping make self driving cars a reality!” Presumably, that’s what she’ll be doing in her new position too.

Gmail for iOS just got a big notifications upgrade

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Gmail iOS
Suck it, spam messages!
Photo: Google

Some of us need to have email notifications enabled, but we don’t want our iPhone to ping every time a spam message hits out inbox. Gmail just got a big notifications upgrade that solves this problem.

Its official iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to provide notifications for your most important emails only.

Neural networks make Google Translate app smarter, more accurate while offline

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Google Translate is now better, even offline
On-device learning should make the Google Translate app much better at its job.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Neural machine translation (NMT) has made the online version of Google Translate more accurate for years. Today, this AI feature was added to the iOS and Android apps so it can be used offline.

NTM allows the software to learn over time to create better, more natural translations. And this function is available while traveling without a local data plan.

Google again follows Apple’s lead, removes meat from salad emoji

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Salad emoji from various companies
At the urging of vegans, the egg is being removed from Google's salad emoji, pictured at right. Apple's, Samsung's, and other's versions are already meat-less.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google has bowed to pressure from vegans and taken the egg out of Android’s salad emoji.

This isn’t something iPhone users need concern themselves with, as Apple’s version is already meatless.

Valve makes controversial decision to ‘allow everything’ in Steam Store

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Valve Steam
Steam Link could finally be arriving soon.
Photo: Valve

Valve is making a huge change that’s going to have a massive impact on the content you see in the Steam Store. The company is doing away with human curation and allowing everything to be sold through its platform.

Valve says it should be up to players to decide what kinds of games they play, while developers should have the freedom to choose what kinds of games they make. However, it will be creating new tools that give shoppers greater control over what appears in their Steam Store.

U.K. iPhone users want $4.3B from Google for privacy violations

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Millions in Britain wants $1000 each because they claim Google invaded their privacy
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A group of 4.4 million Brits accuse Google of illegally collecting and selling their personal information. They want a court to award them  $1000 (£750) each in compensation.

The group, which calls itself Google You Owe Us, was in court today asking to be made a representative action, the British equivalent of a class action.

Google nearly scrubs ‘Don’t be evil’ from its code of conduct

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'Don't be evil' went from the first sentence of the Google code of conduct to the very last.
'Don't be evil' went from the first sentence of the Google code of conduct to the very last.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google’s founders tried to define their corporate philosophy with a single phrase: “Don’t be evil.” Now that phrase has all but disappeared from the company’s official code of conduct.

But there are questions about whether Google could be anything but evil, given that its entire business model is violating the privacy of its users.

Processor update might make Google’s Wear OS a better Apple Watch competitor

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Qualcomm's upcoming processor might make Google's Wear OS more competitive.
Qualcomm's upcoming processor might make Google's Wear OS more competitive.
Photo: Google

One of the reasons Apple Watch has no problems fending off competition running Google’s Wear OS is that they all use a two-year-old processor. Qualcomm is finally readying a new smartwatch chip for release this fall.

In addition, the next version of Watch OS will make greater use of Google Assistant, the company’s artificial intelligence powered system for voice control.

Google borrows iPhone X navigation system for Android

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Android P has a similar swipe-based navigation system as the iPhone X, and it supports screen cutouts.
Android P has a similar swipe-based navigation system as the iPhone X, and it supports screen cutouts.
Graphic: Google

Anyone who’s used an iPhone X already knows how to navigate around in the next version of Google’s mobile operating system. The company showed off Android P at its developer conference today, and it includes a touch bar at the bottom of the screen, just like Apple’s flagship phone.

Android P also natively supports screen cutouts, so device makers will be able to easily produce iPhone X clones.

All the important stuff revealed at Google I/O

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Google I/O 2018 was full of AI surprises.
Google I/O 2018 was full of AI surprises.
Photo: Google

Google just took the wraps off its big software lineup for 2018. If Apple executives were watching, there’s a lot they should be worried about.

Artificial intelligence has always been one of Google’s strengths over Apple. But in 2018, the search company is going all out, putting AI in everything. Pretty much every app the company has is getting some new machine-learning tricks in the next few weeks that make certain iOS features look ancient.

Check out the biggest announcements from this morning’s Google I/O keynote.